Judd Apatow

My self always needs more help.

Judd Apatow is one of the most sought-after minds in entertainment and has been associated with many of the biggest comedy films and hit TV shows worldwide.

Apatow most recently produced Anchorman: The Legend Continues, the eagerly anticipated sequel to the 2004 cult classic, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, which he also produced. Currently, Apatow is at work on the Universal Pictures comedy Trainwreck, starring comedians Amy Schumer and Bill Hader.

In 2012, Apatow wrote, directed, and produced Universal Pictures’ This Is 40, starring his wife Leslie Mann, their daughters Maude and Iris, Paul Rudd, and Albert Brooks. He also wrote and directed the films Knocked Up, Funny People, and The 40-Year-Old Virgin.

His producing credits include Superbad, Bridesmaids, Pineapple Express, Talladega Nights, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him To the Greek, Walk Hard, and Stepbrothers.

Apatow is the executive producer of HBO’s Girls, a series from actress-director Lena Dunham that recently earned him an Emmy nomination. He also wrote and directed for The Larry Sanders Show, was the executive producer of Freaks and Geeks, created Undeclared, and co-created The Ben Stiller Show.


Why are you participating in the Cultivating Thought series?

I heard there was free food involved. And I guess I believe the spreading of interesting ideas is important.

Tell us about your two-minute read.

I wrote it quickly and didn’t think about it too much before and after. I hoped it would inspire people and give them some perspective about life and creativity. I only found my own perspective about eight days ago.

Who inspires you? Who are your favorite authors?

I’m inspired by people like Dave Eggers. He is a fearless writer and a caring, charitable man.

What’s the best book you read in the past year?

I mainly read self-help books. My self always needs more help. Anything by Pema Chodron or John Welwood.

Two Minutes of Rambling Wisdom

by Judd Apatow

When I was in high school there were 500 people in my graduating class. Out of those 500 people I had two best friends and five other real friends. So I had a true connection with seven people and did not have a true connection with 493 people. Now I create stories and hope that 500 out of 500 people will appreciate the work. That is impossible. I don’t love most things I see or listen to, why should they? The truth is I should be happy with seven people being touched or amused by my work. I think it is okay to accept the fact that most people won’t get you. We don’t need to like each other so much. We need to be kind and respect each other.

Don’t be a jerk. Try to love everyone. Give more than you take. And do it despite the fact that you only really like about seven out of 500 people.

Every day I live by only one rule, be a good guy. I am proud of the fact that for the most part I have tried to make the world a better place in small and large ways. I am even more proud of the fact that for the most part I have not ruined the world. I haven’t committed any acts of extreme violence. I don’t litter. I don’t hunt endangered species for sport. I support politicians who appear to want to make the lives of the less fortunate better and who are concerned about our environment. Most of them still make it worse a fair amount of the time, but they are giving it their best shot. I think that is all we can do–give it our best shot. Don’t be a jerk. Try to love everyone. Give more than you take. And do it despite the fact that you only really like about seven out of 500 people. Being cool to the other 493 people is a great thing to do because you want those same 493 people to not give you a hard time when you run into them while ordering your burrito at Chipotle or on an airplane or during an international conflict or just a potential road rage incident. Life will be better for all of us if we want all 500 to be happy.